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Media questions can be directed to Katie Quinn at 803-326-3791 or email at katie.quinn@cityofrockhill.com.

Planning Commission to Consider Zoning Changes Regarding Short-Term Rentals

Post Date:02/28/2017 12:07 PM

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 7 PM in City Council Chambers, 155 Johnston Street, Rock Hill, the Rock Hill Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and consider changes to the zoning ordinance regarding short-term rentals. The public will have an opportunity to provide feedback, both for and against the proposed changes, to the Planning Commission during the meeting, or by phone or in writing prior to the public hearing. Comments and questions can be directed to Leah Youngblood, Planning & Zoning Manager, at leah.youngblood@cityofrockhill.com or 803-329-5569.

Short-term rentals refer to property owners or tenants renting their home or apartment to others for a short period of time, usually arranged via websites such as airbnb.com, vrbo.com or flipkey.com. While this activity is becoming more and more popular in our area, especially with large sporting events hosted in Rock Hill, it can have adverse impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods, spurring parking and noise complaints.

The proposed changes are a three-tiered system of regulations based on the length of stay.

  • Allowed—Short-term rentals of less than 14 days per calendar year would be allowed as a permitted use in most zoning districts. This would allow the average homeowner to rent their home during special events in the area or when on vacation elsewhere.Standards would be put into place regarding parking, number of guests, signage and other items.
  • Allowed by Special Exception—Short-term rentals of more than 14 days per year would be allowed in most zoning districts as a special exception if the Zoning Board of Appeals holds a public hearing and finds that the use meets specified criteria. Additionally, the host must remain on site during the time of the rental. The property would be subject to the same rules as rentals less than 14 days and require an annual safety compliance inspection. The host would need to show proof that the property owner’s association, or apartment owner/manager and property owner (if the property is not owner-occupied) permit the short-term rental. The host must also pay a business license fee and accommodations taxes to the extent required by State law.
  • Not Allowed—Vacation rentals where the property has no primary occupant (often seen in mountain or beach communities) would be prohibited, as would short-term rentals for more than 14 days per year without the host remaining on the property during the time of the rental.

 The timeframe for consideration is:

  • The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed regulations on March 7, 2017 at 7 PM, and make a recommendation to City Council.
  • City Council will consider the recommendation, along with first reading of the ordinance on March 27, 2017 at 6 PM, with second reading tentatively scheduled for April 10 at 6 PM.
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